The preacher was speaking tongue-in-cheek when he complained, “My wife is absolutely unreasonable. She actually expects me to live everything I preach!” It’s so much easier to tell someone what is right than to practice it personally.

When my son and I play golf together, I can tell him exactly how to play the hole and hit the shots. But my own ability to hit those shots is sadly limited. I suppose this is what is meant when we refer to athletes who “talk the talk, but don’t walk the walk.” Anyone can talk a good game, but actually performing well is far more difficult.

This is particularly true in the challenge of following Jesus Christ. It is not enough for us to talk about faith—we must live out our faith. Perhaps that is why Paul, after giving instructions to his young protégé Timothy about how to preach, included this reminder: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. . . . Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them” (1 Tim. 4:12,15).

As Christ’s followers, we do not have the luxury of just talking a good game—we must live lives of exemplary faith in Jesus Christ. We must walk the walk.